By Sato . April 7, 2014 . 2:00am
Something is going on with Super Smash Bros. While Nintendo will be talking about their new Smash Bros. games for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS in a Nintendo Direct on Tuesday, Game Jouhou reports a recruitment listing from Bandai Namco—who are developing the new games—for a “Smash Bros. 6,” scheduled for release in 2015.
According to Game Jouhou’s report, Bandai Namco recently posted a recruitment ad on a Japanese career job opportunity website, e-Career FA, with a listing for programmers for “Smash Bros. 6,” which is expected to be released sometime in 2015 for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS. The page has been taken down, but Jouhou managed to take a screenshot (right) before it went down.
The recruitment page notes that the project currently has 120 people working on it, and they expect that number to increase to 200. At the moment, they’re in need of programmers for various roles, who will then be put into different teams to handle characters, stages, 3D programming, motion, game mode, mini-games, menu, UI, and more.
Additionally, the following message is also listed on the recruitment page:
“Social games are currently a big hit, but the current state of job opportunities for making retail games is critically low. In the midst of this, this will likely be your only chance to be part of a development project for the Smash Bros. [series], which has surpassed a total of 10 million in worldwide sales. And Bandai Namco believes that now is the best time to recruit programmers for retail games.”
Note that, so far, we’ve only had three Super Smash Bros. titles. This year’s Wii U and 3DS games would count as the fourth. Director Masahiro Sakurai has said that the two versions will be similar—if not identical—in terms of their character roster, but that the Wii U version will feature more stages from console games, while the 3DS version will focus more on stages from portable games. There will be other differences between the two, but the point remains that the two games together are generally thought of as “Smash Bros. 4”. Or at least, they have been so far.
There are a couple of possibilities here. The first—and most likely—is that the “6” is simply a typo or a result of miscommunication, and that the Super Smash Bros. game for Wii U and/or Nintendo 3DS has been delayed to 2015. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time that Nintendo have delayed a marquee title in order to let it cook a little longer. Given the Wii U’s poor sales, this alone is of significance.
The other—and this is more far-fetched—is that the 3DS and Wii U Super Smash Bros. games are being counted as the fourth and fifth in the series, and that “Smash Bros. 6” is an entirely different (or perhaps updated) version of the game being released next year. This seems rather unlikely, but we’ll entertain the possibility, just in case.
Something to note: While the original recruitment page has apparently been deleted from e-career FA, it doesn’t appear to be fake. Tatsuya Matsumura, a consultant who uploaded the ad, seems to still have all of his other recruitment ads live on the website, which includes career opportunities for other companies such as Square Enix, Capcom, Tecmo Koei, and various mobile developers.
Upon further research, Matsumura appears to have been in the business of a career consultant to connect developers and software companies with programmers and engineers since 2011. He currently specializes in getting people in touch with gaming and software developers, and has successfully helped the recruitment of over 2,000 people thus far.
Either way, Tuesday’s Nintendo Direct presentation on Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS should prove to be interesting.
Food for thought:
Last year, The Pokémon Company trademarked “Pokkén Tournament” and “Pokkén Fighters,” which sounds like some sort of Pokémon game that draws influence from Bandai Namco’s Tekken series of fighting games. Is Namco’s Smash Bros. team going to be involved with that title as well?